Thursday, September 22, 2016

A recap of the Granite State Comic-Con

As I walked up to the Radisson Hotel in Manchester, I questioned whether I had given my GPS the right directions. This didn’t seem like the site of a major convention of geek-dom. Then, I was greeted by the sight of a young woman dressed as the infamous Harley Quinn standing beside a Gotham PD car, tagged in green spray paint.

The cast of Avatar: The Last Airbender

Yeah, I’d say I’ve got the right place.

My first time at the Granite State Comic-Con was an exploration of sorts—I’ve been to its larger cousins, Boston Comic-Con and PAX East, but this was my first time at Granite State. After getting my press pass [yay, I’m an official convention correspondent!] I took a quick walkthrough to get a feel for the place and what this con had to offer. I soon confirmed many of the staples of the convention world: a massive array of vendors selling everything from replica weapons [oh, my kingdom for a halberd!] to comics from all eras, to toys from my childhood and posters, posters, and more posters! There was a gaming room where players could test their skills, and one set aside for panels all weekend that gave solid advice on the comic industry and how to make your mark in it. For those that attended, I hope you took good notes…by the way, can I borrow those?

Zatanna, by Lady Jay Cosplay

Of course, what convention would be complete without lots and lots of cosplayers? Many donned Marvel and DC regalia such as Zatanna, Raven, and Nick Fury, but others tested different characters, including a casually-dressed Wolverine, Doctor Who, the mashup Deadpool Ranger, and even the entire main roster of Avatar: The Last Airbender.

I was really impressed with the styles and detail of the costumes, as nearly all looked hand-made. Those that I talked to eagerly posed for photos, striking some epic stances for camera after camera. There were some professional cosplayers as well [those that have turned their fandom into a business], such as Koi Fish Asylum. 

A stalwart Nick Fury, by Everyone's Hero

In the main vendor’s hall, I saw impressed to see many first-time creators showcasing their work, such as V.S. Holmes who was telling fellow fantasy fans about the newest book in her “Reforged” series, or ArrionnaWagoner, the master of all artisticstyles and head of A. Wags Illustrations. Her work—which features zombies, fantasy setting and her take on popular female characters—was so good, I had to pick up one for myself. I also learned of the Horror Writers of Maine, a collection of some of the best masters of the macabre to be found up north. Peter Simeti, founder of Alterna Comics, talked about his upcoming release of "The Chair," which sounds like a truly haunting story.

A sample of the work by A. Wags Illustrations

There were plenty of great bonuses, such as the lightsaber dueling classes that went on all weekend. Sith or Jedi, everyone seemed to have a great time, and those leading the class really knew their stuff. The entire setup was easy to navigate, and never did I feel to penned-in or claustrophobic by the tables or people.

All in all, the convention was a great experience, an introduction to some amazing new artists, and an opportunity to mingle with my fellow nerds. On to next year! 

A day well spent at Granite State Comic-Con

No comments:

Post a Comment